In February, 6-foot-3 senior guard Cory Scott led Copperas Cove High School’s boys basketball team to the playoffs for the first time in five years.
“Not only did Cory earn the district’s offensive MVP award, Cory was our captain, team leader, leading scorer, and his hard work and competitiveness led us to our first 20-win season,” Cove head coach Billy White said. “Cory was very, very key to all our success.”
During the previous three springs, Scott participated in track as a high jumper and set the school record at 6-foot-9. But in March, Scott chose to concentrate on improving at hoops and passed on track.
On April 12, Scott was at school when his cellphone rang. It was Bulldawg assistant track coach Travis Boyce. Scott put his cellphone on “silent.” Boyce called twice more.
“By the third call, I thought I better answer it just in case there was some type of family emergency,” Scott said. “But Coach Boyce just yells, ‘I’m coming to get you! I’ve already got things cleared with the principal!’ The district (track) meet was that day and he wanted me to do the high jump. I told him I didn’t want to. I hadn’t jumped in a year, and I already had this reputation as a skilled high jumper. I was nervous that I’d finish in last place.”
Boyce persisted and pushed the right button with Scott.
“Coach Boyce told me that I should do this for the team,” Scott said. “He told me that if I only jumped 6-4 that I could help earn the team some points.”
Scott rushed to Wildcat Stadium in Temple for the district meet. Without so much as a warm-up jump, Scott cleared 7 feet, broke his own school record and won first place.
On May 11, in front of a packed crowd at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin on the University of Texas campus, Scott again cleared 7 feet, earning the Class 5A state championship in high jump.
“It was absolutely incredible watching Cory become the state champion,” said Keith Stifflemire, Cove’s track and field head coach. “Once Cory cleared that 7-foot jump, he was so excited I think he jumped about 8 feet in the air.”
“Standing on the podium, getting my first-place medal, I felt on top of the world,” Scott said. “I felt very honored.”
And the honors keep on coming. Scott was named the 2013 Killeen Daily Herald Athlete of the Year.
“It feels unbelievable,” Scott said of the accolade. “Usually, the big star athletes are from Killeen. To know this award involved everyone in our area really makes it extra special to me. Words can’t explain how much it means to me to be recognized like this.”
His coaches agree Scott deserved the honor.
“It’s very exciting to all of us at Copperas Cove because Cory is not just a great athlete, he’s got the perfect character,” Stifflemire said. “He’s a student first. I wish all of our athletes possessed the type of character that Cory has.”
White called the award “well-deserved.”
“What a year he had. In basketball, he did everything for us: shoot the 3-pointer, get to the rack, hit the midrange shot or simply dunk. And then he gets called out of class, changes clothes, gets to a track meet 15 minutes before he has to compete, wins the district with a 7-foot jump and then takes the state title. Incredible,” White said. “He’s a great kid, great competitor and has a lot of drive and motivation.”
Scott said he gets his motivation from his family.
“What drives me to succeed is that I want to please my family,” Scott said. “My parents (Cynthia and Christopher) and my two older brothers (Christopher Jr. and Cordarion) have all done so much for me. They’d wake up early to drive me anywhere so I could participate in basketball tournaments. I want to succeed so I can make them happy.”
Scott is now a starting guard for Midland College’s basketball team. His season-high in scoring is 17 points.
“I’m wearing the Midland jersey but I’m still a Bulldawg at heart,” Scott said. “Putting on that Copperas Cove jersey always meant the world to me.”
Contact Allan Mandell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7566 and read his blog on KDHPressbox.com